A probabilistic approach to column flotation

M.N. Al-Maghrabi*

Mining Engineering Department; King Abdulaziz University, Jeddah 21589, Saudi Arabia

Received 21 January 2003; accepted 15 December 2003


Froth flotation has been employed as a successful means of concentration of metalliferrous ores. Column flotation is a relatively new development. The process involves selective attachment of particles of certain minerals out of a slurry, descending a vertical column, to ascending air bubbles. There are some particles which attach themselves to the ascending air bubbles from the collection zone and go right up to the cleaning zone whereas others are attached for a while and are, then, detached. For certain other particles, the process of attachment and detachment is repeated. The probabilities of change from the attachment to detachment state of a particle are determined from the recoveries of the two zones. The paper explains the steady state probabilities of a particle from the probabilities of change from one state to another based on the principle of Markov process.

Keywords: Column flotation; Collection zone; Cleaning zone

* Corresponding author
   E-mail : almagrabii@yahoo.com